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join us next for "teen kids news." here's a look at what we're reporting on this week. >> i'll report on dogs with a special mission and the teens who train them. >> if you like studying the past and don't mind getting your hands dirty, you'll really dig my report. >> the dos & don'ts of using the internet for homework. >> i'll have the story of a hot new artist, who made it to "american idol," and he didn't even have to face the judges. >> and there's more. just ahead on "teen kids news." >> hi, i'm mwanzaa. >> and i'm jessica. we'll start with headlines from around the world. >> here's lauren.
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>> 7,000 u.s. troops arrived in afghanistan. they are the first group of 21,000 soldiers to be deployed to the region by the end of summer. their mission, to train afghan forces and strengthen their government. >> they sent us to afghanistan to get the job done and that's what we're here to do. >> reporter: u.s. troops hope to stabilize the country enough to eventually withdraw all armed forces from the region. worries about finding work for the summer? well, you may not have to. president obama hopes to roll out more than 100,000 summer youth jobs. it's all part of his goal to create over 500,000 jobs within the next few months. and a government report has some more good news. job losses slowed last month. >> it's a sign that we're moving in the right direction. the key is for us to build on the modest progress that has been made in the months to come. >> for families vacationing on a budget, the national park
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service is offering a deal -- three free-admission weekends. it's happening at nearly 150 parks, once a month, june through august. teen texting is on the rise. a nielsen study found that teens send and receive nearly 80 messages a day. that's more than double last year's average. physicians and psychologists fear the constant communication could lead to anxiety, distraction from schoolwork, poor grades and loss of sleep. researchers at m.i.t. have been testing human memory. they showed people thousands of images and report being surprised at how well pictures are remembered. so, if you're studying for a big test, flash cards are a great idea. jessica? it's a dog lover's dream -- going to class with canines. felipe has the story. felipe? >> jessica, in this class the
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teens are leading the way. they're training dogs to assist people with disabilities. they're also learning skills that can help them in their future careers and their personal lives. these dogs are eager to get to school. they're also forming a special bond with their teen trainers. >> i started playing with dogs and training dogs when i was a young girl. >> a love of dogs and personal experience inspired jill felice to start assistance dogs of the west or adw. >> my sister karen has a disability, and i started getting the dogs to help me and my sister karen. you know kids want to be kids, of course. i didn't want to have the responsibility of my sister, karen. so, i used to get one of our first dogs to stay with her. and then when she needed me she could tell him. and he would come and find me. >> the school trains dogs to help people with disabilities
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become more independent. most of adw's trainers are adults, but jill wanted to give kids the experience she had as a child. >> i think for kids who are truly interested in it and want to take this further into animal behavior or vet school or training for the movies or training for whatever, i think this is a great place to start. that lets you kind of really explore if this is something you want to do later in life. >> the school is based in santa fe, new mexico, and trains dozens of service dogs each year. for these teens, the class is actually a part of their school day. >> you take it like you take math. you get a credit for it, you take it every day. you're assigned the same service dog. >> students help their four-legged friends learn a minimum of 90 different commands. some times success comes easily. >> up, push. yes, good boy. >> and sometimes it doesn't. >> up, push.
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>> that's okay. >> in addition to training skills, teens learn some important life lessons, like how to be patient. >> push! good girl, whoo! >> they learn how their emotional impact has direct influence on another being. so if they're inappropriate with their emotions, their dog's not going to do anything for them. if they're appropriate with their emotions, their dogs are going to do everything for them. >> training usually lasts a year and a half. at the end, trainers and trainees show off at a graduation ceremony. then comes the toughest part of the program. teacher and student have to say good-bye. >> he was always there for me no matter if i was happy, sad, mad -- he'd always either cheer me or make me even happier. >> training a dog is always bittersweet for the trainers and for the students.7 you did a lot of hard work. you've done it for the last, you know, 18 months, two years of your life.
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you are ecstatic that they're going to where they need to go. but there is that little part of you that says, "i'll miss them." >> i can't think of anyone better for melvin to go to than you, melissa. you're very lucky. >> people who need assistance dogs can wait as long as five years to get one. jill hopes to shorten that wait by getting more kids involved in training. to learn more, check out our website, >> thanks, felipe. you've heard of online dating. itnow it's available for zoo animals. zookeepers around the world are posting profiles of their creatures hoping to find good mates. even personality traits are included. i guess if you knew a particular bat was a bit batty, you might not want to go out on a blind date. just ahead, how the internet can help you get an "a." >> as long as you're using it correctly. we'll be right back.
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researching a paper is a lot different for us than it was for our parents. the internet has really changed the process. but you need to look closely at what you're getting online. tyler has some tips. >> there was a time when writing a school paper required a walk to the library. today, we can at least start our research right at home. >> i only research online. >> but don't get too comfy. >> online research is still very limited. you don't really know what you're finding online. >> dr. mary balkun heads up the english department. she's one of many experts who worry about students who rely on one very popular site i just find it to be really helpful even though some people just say not to use it. >> wikipedia is an amazing phenomenon. people all over the world constantly update its content. but it's no4iable.
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>> a wiki by its very nature can be altered by anyone coming along. you don't know who put that information up there. it could be the student sitting in the desk next to you. >> a good wikipedia entry is like a good research paper. it has a bibliography at the bottom listing sources. that's place to start looking for your real sources. you might still wind up with a website as a source. to analyze its value, start with the address. for example, the smithsonian institution's address ends in edu. for educational. >> anything that ends in edu would probably connected to a school, a college or university or some academic organization. >> a .gov address indicates a government website. that can be a good source of statistics because the government gathers a lot of information. .org is an address of a not-for-profit organization. but that doesn't mean it's purely objective. >> you do have to be careful
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because you don't know the organization that's connected to that. they come with all different biases and agendas. >> a .net can come from any individual. a .com is generated by businesses from a company with a product, to a news organization. a news article can be used as one source but not the source. it's often said that journalists write the first draft of history. you'll need to have a broader view. and that can lead you to your next research step. that's right. dr. balkun says you still should head to the library. >> one of the best ways to do good research is really to scan the shelves, to take a book down that you wouldn't have looked at otherwise because you never would have known it existed. >> and then you might learn the most important lesson about researching. >> it's not just finding material that works well in a paper. being a good researcher, being a good learner is about learning to evaluate information that you find and, actually, the internet is a wonderful tool for practicing those skills.
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but it's just one source. >> your first source should be your teacher. find out what kinds of source material he or she will allow and the format for the bibliography. along with knowing your source, you need to know your audience.
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it's no secret that we as a nation are overweight. teenagers, in particular, are increasingly out of shape. but as hannah reports, some schools are fighting the battle of the bulge with information and action. >> come, on let me see it. you want it now? >> i really want it now! >> the program is called healthcorps, and it is helping schools teach health and fitness as a way of life. >> well, our mission is really to empower children to become
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activists and to make them educated consumers so they can make better choices. our job's not to preach to children but really to empower them. >> the curriculum is broken down into four different areas -- science, nutrition, fitness and mental resilience. the high school for health careers and sciences was one of the first to bring healthcorps into the classroom. >> i cover everything. i do from resistance workouts, weight training, resistance band, pilates, yoga. we do isometric training, calisthenics, kick boxing, jujitsu, judo -- i teach a whole variety of things. always keep them guessing, keep the muscles working. >> the students are breaking a sweat, but they are having fun. they are also learning about their bodies and what nutrients help them keep fit. >> i wasn't eating the right food. so i began starting to eat more fruits and more vegetables,
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cutting down on going out to mcdonald's, that type of thing. and i always try and work out more now -- work out more than i used to. >> in the four years the course has been in place, there have been real changes at the high school. >> we now have a salad bar, where we once didn't. so we're moving in that direction with a dietician, to really make lunch more palatable. >> healthcorps teaches not only physical fitness but mental fitness. if the brain is into it, then the body follows. >> what i focus on with these kids is for them to understand their bodies, to know what it is to be fit. it opens their minds to new things. they become more excited about actual workout or eating properly. because i take it very serious, but we have fun, as well. i like them to smile, i like them to laugh. >> david was 200 pounds, but now weighs 140.
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the healthcorps program is helping him maintain a healthy lifestyle. >> i stopped eating at night, less food on the plate, working out, put my mind into it, you know. and my family supported me to do it. the old david was just like same lazy guy just playing video games on the sofa, watching tv, just eating. now the new david is for me is a better guy than before because now i'm in sports, you know.l(a i see life in a different way. i'm not lazy anymore. >> the activities are not just in the classroom. >> it's a stress reliever. >> it's even spilling over into the homes. >> one of my students was telling me how she had a whole conversation with her mom about how her mom is always frying everything. frying the plantains and the salami and to try and steer away from that.
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little things like that that the kids pick up with healthcorps, and then they go home and talk to their parents about it. >> the program is expanding at a rapid pace. by next year the number of schools participating will double. don't be surprised if your school is next. coming up, nicole tells us about some scientists who really about some scientists who really rock our world. narrator: every day is a brand-new journey of discovery for your baby. and when that journey is by car, the latch system will help keep them safe. it's easier and makes your car seat secure. so your baby's journeys will be safe and sure. to learn more, visit... so, april... yeah? you know, your charger is still using energy when it's plugged into the wall, right?
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yeah, but that's not my charger. i don't even have a cell phone. [ballad ringtone playing] uh-oh. um... [music stops] heh. announcer: millions of kids are using their energy wisely. in nicole's video scrapbook, she takes us into the field with a team of scientists uncovering the past. >> south dakota's badlands national park is a gold mine of history. in this case the gold is a vast array of fossils. >> a fossil is a trace of the past. a fossil is not necessarily a bone. fossilization is a process by which bone turns into rock. some fossils do still have an original element of bone in them. but most fossils that are older have already turned to rock.
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>> ellen is heading up a team of paleontologists at what's called the "pig dig." this is the fossil of an archaeocerium, a giant pig that lived 33 million years ago. what is a paleontologist? >> a paleontologist is someone who studies life of the past, not people, but animals and traces of them. so, if you'd like to take a walk over to our pit, i'll show you what we do. >> sure. >> as you can see danny here is working on the spine of an archaeocerium. archaeocerium is the same animal that we had up there when we were looking that the mount skeleton. this is the big pig. you can see what she's working with. she has very delicate tools. she's got a scribe. she's got brushes. the fossils here are very delicate. the fossils take on the characteristics of the rocks that they're in. these rocks are crumbly and breaking. and these fossils are also crumbly and breaking. so she has to be very careful. >> i got a chance to see what it's like to uncover a bit of the past.
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what's all the labeling for? >> well, when we find a bone, we can't just take it out of the ground. what we'll do -- every stage that it's in has a different color. so when we have these orange markers that means that these bones were just found, and we've taken simple hand notes on them such as orientation, dip, who found them, what have we done to the bone, what condition the bone's in. and then they'll go to a second stage, where they'll get an orange striped tag, which means that we have hand-mapped them with a meter-by-meter grid. so it just gives us the 2-d version of where the bones lie. blue tag. we'll take out what's called a total station, which is a surveying mapping device which will give us three dimensions of what the pit looked like. and we'll take several points on a bone. and once we're done with that we can finally extract the bone. >> no question about it, this is a job where you really have to be on top of the details. >> what did you treat it with? >> i have treated it with thin burfarbe. >> okay, what's the condition of the bone? >> it's in fair condition.
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it's slightly fractured. >> how far below the green layer have you found it? >> i'd say 4 centimeters below. >> thank you. >> while i kept at it, ellen explained why this area is so rich in fossils. >> fossilization is a really fortuitous process. less than 1% of all animals that ever lived on the planet have been fossilized. so you have to thihink, the conditions have to be just right for fossilization to occur. an animal has to have died. it has to have not been picked apart too much. it has to be covered very quickly with sediment. and conditions have to be just right for fossilization to occur. >> this is actually a lot harder than it looks. >> between the heat, the dirt and the constant flies, being a paleontologist takes a lot of dedication. but then when that moment of discovery comes, it's all worth it. >> we have a jaw right now, just uncovered it.
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looks like an archaeocerium. >> using strips of burlap dipped in plaster, each fossil is carefully wrapped or jacketed. >> this process helps us stabilize the fossils for collection and transportation. keeps them connected to the matrix, the surrounding rock. and it allows us to keep the fossils from breaking. so we can actually study them for the future. >> so why is it important to study the past? >> that's an interesting question. it's really hard to say where we're going in the future, if we don't understand where we've come from. so that's why we spend a lot of time studying the past, so we can figure out where we're gonna go. >> at badlands national park, south dakota, i'm nicole for "teen kids news."
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i'm a single mother with two kids, i work a lot. i come home tired. you do miss a lot. he dropped out for a whole month. sometimes i would talk to him and he wouldn't even turn around and look at me.
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i would just get frustrated because any way i would talk to him, it just doesn't go through his head. i didn't give up because there is always hope that they will snap out of it. announcer: give your teen the boost they need to graduate. call 1-877-for-a-kid or join us at for tips and advice. >> is your friend finding all kinds of ways to display her new phone? call her "ostentatious." o-s-t-e-n-t-a-t-i-o-u-s. that's this week's word. it means being a show-off, ostentatious. there's a way to get on the show "american idol" without doing those killer auditions. all it takes is a huge amount of talent, and the ability to write a hit song about hollywood. siena got to meet a new guy in the spotlight. ♪ >> ferras already has a lot of great memories, like the moment a song he wrote for his first
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album was chosen for "american idol." >> i had written "hollywood is not america" for, you know, the album. and i didn't realize that it was going to be such a big song. and then we got a call from "idol" saying that they'd like to use it for the hollywood week episode. and i didn't even have to go and meet simon. ♪ >> what's unique or different about your music? >> what's unique or different? i think i'm really honest in the music, and i think that i come from a really real space with my songwriting. ♪
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>> how did your love of music begin, and how old were you? >> i was 5. and i was rudolph in our christmas play at school. and i sang this song, and everybody started cheering and going crazy. and i knew from that point on that i totally wanted to have people cheering after i sang all the time. >> one of those cheering him on was his mother. when ferras was 17, she helped him pursue his dreams. they moved to los angeles, from their small town in illinois. he landed a recording contract and connected with a top production team called the matrix. and they went to work on "aliens and rainbows." ♪ >> it was a year and a half of me just kind of going within myself and discovering who i am and what i wanted to say as an artist.
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>> and ever since, ferras has been making a major splash in the music business. to find out more about ferras, including his tour schedule, go to i'm siena for "teen kids news." >> that's a wrap for this edition of "teen kids news." >> thanks for watching, and have >> thanks for watching, and have a great week! -- captions by vitac --
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Teen Kids News
NBC August 16, 2009 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

News/Business. (2009) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Karen 3, Felipe 3, Nicole 3, Healthcorps 2, South Dakota 2, Jessica 2, Ellen 2, Siena 2, U.s. 2, Hollywood 2, Pinocch 1, Melvin 1, Tyler 1, Melissa 1, Lauren 1, Jill Felice 1, Dr. Balkun 1, Atta Boy 1, Wikipedia 1, The Smithsonian 1
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Duration 00:30:00
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